Asthma has a shared history with human beings, with references to as far back as 2600 BC in China. The word “asthma” itself comes from the Greek word “aazein”, which means panting or sharp breathing. Though the ancients themselves tried to find a cure to this respiratory problem, from religious sacrifices to the gods to steam baths, they could only ease the symptoms and did not alleviate the patient’s shortness of breath.
These days, modern medication has improved our understanding of asthma and the way it affects the lungs, but we still do not know what triggers an attack and what causes it in the first place. But the good news is there are now numerous types of medications that can alleviate the symptoms of asthma and provide instant and long-term relief.
Instant relief from breathlessness
Asthma symptoms are caused by airway irritation. Asthma is quite common, the quick-relief medication of choice is bronchodilators. This group may be short acting or long acting. The most widely used drugs to relax airway muscles are beta2 agonists, anticholinergics, and theophylline. The hand-held inhaler is a type of beta2 agonist, which provides instant relief for sudden attacks of dyspnea or shortness of breath. The direct action of the compounds delivered by the inhaler is relaxation or dilation of the airways. Widened airways allow more air to pass. If you need a bronchodilator, you can buy over the counter brands that are effective too, such as those from Dr Natural Healing.
Bronchodilators are good at providing instant and quick resolution. Nevertheless, it does not reverse or correct the inflammation. That aspect of the illness can only be addressed by anti-inflammatory medication.
Long-term control for asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition, which necessitates daily intake of maintenance medication. Long-term control of the symptoms may be achieved with inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and long-acting beta agonists (LABAs). Corticosteroids effectively keep asthma symptoms in check, but the risks must be understood, as well as side effects such as throat and mouth irritation. Leukotriene modifiers deal with agents of the immune system that give rise to asthma symptoms. The long-term effect of the beta agonist bronchodilators lasts for 12 hours, and they reduce airway swelling as well. Some doctors prescribe combination inhalers for persons who need continuous asthma control. If you have a family history of asthma, it is likely that you might develop the disease. If you have allergies, you might also develop asthma. Gender also matters; in childhood, more boys than girls suffer from asthma, but more women than men develop it later in life. Your environment could also increase your risk, as smoking, noxious fumes, and even house dust could cause coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
If you think you are at risk and experience some of the symptoms, you should discuss it with your doctor so that they could recommend the proper medication. The safety of inhaled, oral, and injected drugs for asthma is uncontested. You are protected and should feel safe to follow the specific regimen prescribed by your doctor, so you could still live an active life.